Turkish president Abdullah Gul is set to begin a two-day visit to Bosnia amid growing resentment among Bosnian Serbs over his country’s increased diplomatic influence in the Western Balkans. He is scheduled to meet with members of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency and visit the southern town of Mostar on Thursday.
The reported aim of his visit is to reiterate Turkey’s support for Bosnia and its commitment to the Balkan country’s long-term stability. Turkey has recently intensified its efforts to help the countries of the former Yugoslavia – notably Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia – to overcome their differences that remain from the 1990s wars.
Turkey has organised several meetings with foreign ministers of the three Balkan countries as part of the effort.
In April, Gul hosted a meeting between the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) chairman of Bosnia’s presidency and his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic in Istanbul during which the two Balkan leaders agreed to work to improve their troubled relations.